Economic structure of the Serbian population as an obstacle to sustainable development
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In the literature, experts point out that the term sustainable development is often mistaken for similar terms and that there is no single framework for managing it (Lele, 1991). According to Daly (1990) countries that have high rates of per-capita resource usage frequently have low rates of demographic growth and their aim is more consumption control than population control and vice versa. Issues raised decades ago are still current – how to manage environmental degradation in poverty affected areas or the confusing role of economic growth on today’s margins of environmental sustainability. At the 2012 Rio Summit, it was suggested that the world adopt a set of Sustainable Development Goals. These goals should include economic development, environmental sustainability and social inclusion (Sachs, 2012). The economy in Serbia has been developed in the capital city and several other smaller towns, mostly along the Pomoravlje area (Babović et al., 2016b). Such centralized economic develo...pment is an obstacle to sustainable development. Administratively, there are 25 areas in Serbia, and in most of them a percentage of the active population that performs occupation is 30–35. The highest percentage is in the Kolubarska area (42%) and the lowest is in the Toplička area (24%). The percentage of the economically inactive population is around 60 in most areas. The highest value is in the Toplička area (65%) and the best situation is in the Kolubarska area (52%). A small number of residents do occupations and almost two-thirds of the population are dependents, in all areas. On the other hand, The Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted, in 2008, National Sustainable Development Strategy with a goal to “lead to balance three key factors…, linking them to a whole supported by institutional framework” (Vasić, 2004:6). Can one speak of sustainable development, especially the well-being of the population, if in many areas the economic predispositions are very low? The differences between development and living conditions are even greater if we descend from the area level to the municipal level. Economic underdevelopment and depopulation of settlements are certainly a major brake on sustainable development (Babović et al., 2016a).Some experts, such as Filipović (2012) and Jednak and Kragulj (2015) proposed a knowledge-based economy as a way of sustainable development in Serbia. We should work on a larger raise environmental awareness among citizens and involve them more in decision-making at the local level. Shutting down the economy in small towns and leaving the population is in favour of the environment, but this again is not a sustainable solution. The well-being of the population is a component that needs to be institutionalized at the local government level and should involve all stakeholders. As a country actively working to join the European Union, Serbia must more actively pursue a sustainable development policy at all administrative levels.
Source:Proceedings of the International scientific Conference "Environmental transformation and sustainable development in the Asian region", 09-2020, 56-56
- Irkutsk : Sochava Institute of Geography, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences
- Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Republic of Serbia, Grant no. 451-03-68/2020-14/200172 (Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts - SASA, Geographical Institute 'Jovan Cvijić', Belgrade) (RS-200172)